At the Jan. 15 District 96 board meeting, President Mary Ellen Meindl and Superintendent Jonathan Lamberson discussed compromising the confidentiality of mandatory reporters. They referred to the situation involving Mrs. Corrigan and I. They failed to mention their actions, as well as the actions of their employee, that made confidentiality impossible in this case.

At the August 2012 board meeting, Mrs. Corrigan and I offered to meet with the board in executive session. That request was denied by Mrs. Meindl. We then tried to meet privately with Mr. Lamberson and Mrs. Meindl. They refused to schedule a meeting with us. That was when they brought in the lawyers. Instead of trying to work this out as concerned parents, we got lawyers thrown at us.

At the January meeting, Mr. Lamberson expressed his concern regarding Mrs. Corrigan and I delivering copies of the Riverside police report to board members. He failed to mention that I contacted his office before delivery, and they assisted me in confirming board member addresses. Mrs. Corrigan emailed each board member before we arrived. None of them told us not to stop by.

Mrs. Corrigan and I should never have been placed in the position to deliver the report. Mr. Lamberson and the board’s attorneys should have fully informed the board about this important matter. It is impossible for any board to make informed decisions when pertinent information is withheld from them.

As I stated in the letter included with each report, I legally obtained this report through a FOIA request. We have spoken with the Riverside police, DCFS, the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Attorney General’s Office. They all confirmed that we did not break any laws. The district appears to have reached the same conclusion. Initially the district’s law firm tried to get us criminally charged. Now the board members have reportedly read the report.

A search of records by DCFS has shown the district’s latest version of events to be incorrect. That search revealed DCFS was never contacted and DCFS did not contact the district, or any employee, regarding my daughter in this case. Contrary to the board’s statement, DCFS has no record on file of anyone ever contacting them to report my daughter.

If the district’s employee had contacted DCFS, instead of presenting irresponsible claims to the Riverside Police Department, this case would have remained confidential. Rather than inferring blame on Mrs. Corrigan and me, and issuing misleading statements, Mr. Lamberson and the board should accept responsibility for their actions and more closely examine the actions of the employee responsible for initiating this terrible situations.

Steven Battersby

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